Changing the tone a little bit today. Fridays, I usually do a bit of weird history, especially from the late 19th, early 20th century, because so much of our modern life experiences have had their origins from there–or at the very least, experienced a modernization that kept it from dying out, or turned it from tradition to something useful.
But today, I’m going to be away from the computer, chaperoning my 9 and a half year old on a field trip to the ubiquitous Pioneer Village (come on, every state has one, if not several. Complete school field trip bait, and all part of the fun of reliving childhood with your kids). It’s led me to think about what history means and what history is when seen through young eyes.
As adults, we see history and we’ve had the experience to know the weight of all the years, all the time, behind it. Children don’t have that sense of perspective. I remember my own childhood trip to Pioneer Village (it was a different one, but apparently, those Pioneers were pretty cosmopolitan) led me to question why I couldn’t just drag my mom into the department store and get a long calico dress like the Pioneer women wore, and for heavens’ sake, where was our spinning wheel because dang, that thing looked fun! I now know people who do, in fact, own and use spinning wheels. Hand-spun yarn is my Very Special
Crack Friend. I have spun using a drop spindle and, while fun, I don’t have the knack for it like I have the lust for hand-spun yarns.
But back to the perspective. As a child, history, time, and everything that happened, was all happening in some fluid “now” space. In that time of eternal present, that’s where I found my love for the stories about the lives of the people that somehow were very old, but definitely not gone and forgotten.
I know more timelines now, but the sense of history being right there, in the corner of your eye, or just right there if you look at it from a different angle doesn’t come up as much. But the rare moments it does, are ones I treasure. I want my son to have that same sense of awe.